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The Care & Feeding of Rats or How to Attract Rats to Your Wormbin

Posted by shaul Israel (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 5, 13 at 12:53

Last month I bought a couple Coconuts. Upon opening one of them I found it to be rotten and so I thought 'here's a new food, let's see how the worms take to this'. I cut out 2 pieces and buried them in one of the bins. Well the worms didn't seem too excited at first so I left it for a couple days. when I checked back after a week, something was different, there were bits of thread and feathers and fluff (things I hadn't put there). It also looked like something had been burrowing in the bedding. On closer inspection I found that something had gnawed a neat hole (2" across) in the side of the bin. The worms seemed to be okay but the coconut was gone. I cleaned up the bin and patched the hole, then I went out and bought a large 'catch-em-alive' varmint trap (the kind with a hair trigger and the door slams shut), and I baited it with coconut. Two nights later I caught a large rat (I've caught three so far), which is pretty good seeing as how my bins are on my patio, three floors up. I decided to conduct a scientific experiment. Knowing that worms breathe through their skins and have the ability to live (for a period of time) underwater, I wished to see whether rats could do the same. So I found a container larger than the trap, set the trap inside and filled it with water. Though I've only had two subjects on which to perform this important experiment (the third appears to have died from indigestion (perhaps too much coconut)), the results are conclusive: Rats Cannot Breathe Underwater; giving credence to the maxim: 'Drowned Like a Rat'.

Moral of the story: Save the coconut for baiting the rodent traps and keep it out of the wormbin.


P.S. A friend who spent some time in Hawaii relates that the Coconut growers there surround the tree trunks with sheets of tin to keep the rats from climbing the trees and gnawing at the fruit.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: The Care & Feeding of Rats or How to Attract Rats to Your Wor

Good thing you used a live trap, otherwise this experiment could not have taken place! It is too small of a sampling to be conclusive, so you better continue on with your experiment in the name of science.

I have been battling rats for several years now. It is one of the things that make outdoor wormin' so much fun. ;)

RE: The Care & Feeding of Rats or How to Attract Rats to Your Wor


I ain't had probs w/rats. Moles are my bane, but that's about the lawn.

That post was awesome, but I gotta ask you, for the benefit of the newbies, about burying the coconut.

I've always believed, and read, and practiced putting foodstuff on top of the bedding. Then you can observe the worms's reactions. I've also been led to believe that burying food causes bad stuff (like heat) to happen.

At any rate, I'm really enjoying your threads.



RE: The Care & Feeding of Rats or How to Attract Rats to Your Wor

Thank You Chuckie for the compliment. I use shredded corrugated cardboard as bedding (as well as toilet & towel paper rolls), but that's it. No paper, leaves, egg cartons, newspapers etc. So for me, burying means under a layer or two of bedding, just not on top. It helps a bit to keep down the fly activity and the smells and if I want to check out the action, I can simply pull back the bedding bringing everything into view. Also in my bins, the top layer seems to dry out pretty quickly while a few inches down, it's still quite moist (which is where most of the worm activity seems to be going on).


RE: The Care & Feeding of Rats or How to Attract Rats to Your Wor

I need to make a slight correction to my previous post about having no problems with rats.

Should have said since:

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